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Dodgers' Kershaw earns 10th consecutive win

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 01 2014 01:09:48 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2014 11:21:42 AM CDT
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- No pitcher can outduel Clayton Kershaw these days, though Julio Teheran made an impressive effort Thursday.

Kershaw tossed a complete game, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-1 win over the Teheran and the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers, who have the best record in the National League, won their sixth consecutive game, including all three in the series against Atlanta. Los Angeles swept the Braves (58-51) at home for the first time since July 1990. It comes on the heels of the Dodgers (62-47) taking three in a row at San Francisco.

Right fielder Yasiel Puig, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs, hit his 13th homer for Los Angeles, which is 15-5 in its past 20 home games. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with an RBI double.

"We played well and got a couple of runs," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "(Teheran) was good, and he probably threw the ball about like Clayton. It was a good game for us."

Kershaw (13-2) beat the Braves for the first time during the regular season. They were the lone National League club he had yet to defeat. The left-hander won his 10th consecutive decision, tying a career best. In his past 11 starts, Kershaw is 10-0 with a 0.94 ERA.

Kershaw barely missed blanking Atlanta. Left fielder Justin Upton's RBI infield single with two outs in the ninth, a play that Dodger manager Don Mattingly had reviewed, ruined the shutout. Kershaw struck out nine and scattered nine hits. He didn't walk a batter.

As usual, Kershaw deflected praise regarding his outing and directed the plaudits toward the club.

"We're playing really well," said Kershaw, who pitched his second straight complete game. "We've won six in a row as a team. Two sweeps against two really good teams. That's fun to be a part of."

Kershaw delivered his sixth game of the season with nine or more strikeouts without a walk, which puts him in the same club as Randy Johnson (2004), Mike Mussina (2001) and Pedro Martinez (1999), according to BaseballReference.com. Those four are second to only Curt Schilling, who had eight such games in 2002.

"I wouldn't say I'm amazed at this point. It's him," Gonzalez said. "It's a pretty good lineup they put out there today, but it doesn't matter who's out there. What (Kershaw) has been doing this year is pretty incredible. What he did last year was incredible as well, but this year has been one for the ages."

Teheran (10-7) also turned in a strong exhibition but came up short. Teheran went the distance, striking out nine and allowing two runs on five hits in eight innings. He walked three and threw 118 pitches (80 strikes).

"They were both outstanding pitching today," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We outhit them, but (the Dodgers) were able to turn three double plays. (Kershaw's) tough, and Julio was really, really good."

Despite being swept, Fredi Gonzalez was pleased with his club's effort in the series.

"We played good baseball," he said. "They're playing better baseball. I don't know how much better we could pitch. I'm really proud of our club the way we kept battling."

After giving up a third-inning homer to Puig, Teheran retired 14 of the 15 batters he faced -- a single by Adrian Gonzalez being the exception.

With one out in the first, Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double to the gap in right-center scored Puig, who walked, for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead.

Puig drove a 1-2 pitch from Teheran into the seats in left for a solo home run with one out in the third for a 2-0 advantage.

NOTES: OF Emilio Bonifacio and LHP James Russell are expected to join the Braves this weekend when the club begins a three-game set in San Diego against the Padres. Bonifacio and Russell were acquired along with cash considerations in a deal with the Chicago Cubs for minor league C/3B Victor Caratini. ... Atlanta RF Jason Heyward missed his third consecutive game due to a sore back. Heyward probably will return for the Padres series, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ... The Dodgers outrighted LHP Scott Elbert, who hasn't pitched in two seasons and was designated for assignment Tuesday, to Triple-A Albuquerque. ... First base umpire Jerry Layne left the game after the second inning with a calf injury and did not return. ... The game drew a crowd of 51,163.

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